FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2013
Contact: Alberto Rodriguez
Phone: 602.340.7337
Email: alberto.rodriguez@staff.azbar.org

Attorneys John M. Curtin, Mark B. Pyper, and Roberto Salazar Reprimanded
by Arizona Supreme Court

PHOENIX – June 20, 2013 – The Presiding Disciplinary Judge (PDJ) of the Arizona Supreme court has ordered that John M. Curtin and Mark B. Pyper of Phoenix and Roberto Salazar of Tucson be reprimanded for violating Rules of Professional Conduct.

In the matter of John M. Curtin, the PDJ accepted the consent agreement reached between him and the State Bar of Arizona and ordered that he be reprimanded for misconduct on May 13, 2013.

John M. Curtin failed to properly supervise his assistant, who he relied on to create and maintain his trust account records.  In 2012, Curtin's trust account became overdrawn and he learned that his assistant misappropriated funds from both his trust and operating accounts—including settlement proceeds due to a client and a lien holder.

Curtin was placed on probation for one year. He was ordered to pay $1,286.71 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation. In addition, Curtin must participate in the Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP) and its Trust Account Ethics Program.

In the matter of Mark B. Pyper, the PDJ accepted the consent agreement reached between him and the State Bar of Arizona and ordered that he be reprimanded for misconduct on May 20, 2013.

Mark B. Pyper failed to provide—in writing—the scope of the representation and the basis of his fee.  He revealed information not reasonably necessary to establish a claim or defense and sought treble damages for unpaid wages in the civil complaint he filed against his client. In another matter, Pyper failed to act diligently and protect his client's interest during representation. He failed to advise his client about a counterclaim that could have lead to costly attorney's fees, failed to communicate that the matter had been moved to Superior Court, failed to appear for several court hearings, and withdrew representation while an application for attorney’s fees was pending.

Pyper was placed on probation for two years. He was ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation. In addition, Pyper must participate in the Bar's Law Office Management Program (LOMAP) and its Member Assistance Program (MAP).

In the matter of Roberto Salazar, the PDJ accepted the consent agreement reached between him and the State Bar of Arizona and ordered that he be reprimanded for misconduct on April 12, 2013.

Roberto Salazar was found to have violated Rules of Professional Conduct in three separate cases. In the first, he failed to attend a status conference, failed to respond to a motion to compel, and failed to respond to a motion for summary judgment that resulted in a judgment being entered against his client. In the second and third matters, Salazar failed to accurately complete the paperwork required for two immigration clients, in addition to issuing one of them a check that was returned for insufficient funds.

Salazar was placed on probation for two years. He was ordered to pay $1,200 to the State Bar of Arizona for costs and expenses incurred during its investigation. In addition, Salazar must participate in the Bar's Law Office Management Program (LOMAP), must complete specified Continued Legal Education (CLE) courses, and must participate in fee arbitration with one client.

Consumers may report attorney misconduct by calling the State Bar of Arizona Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (A/CAP) hotline at 602.340.7280.


About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 17,000 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.

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